Sweet pea

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Published: February 14, 2016 12:04:14 AM

An artist’s imagination knows no bounds, as embodied by ‘Princess Pea’, an artist who celebrates her alter ego instead of herself

IN THE real world, she could be described as an Indian contemporary artist based out of Gurgaon, Haryana. But that’s not how she would like to be known. Instead, she likes to be called ‘Princess Pea’—an alter ego in the form of a living toy, an anime-style figure that can’t talk, smell or see. Princess Pea is a thin, diminutive woman wearing a mask in the shape of a pea. Interestingly, the big, green eyes on her mask bear a striking resemblance to that of Buttercup’s, a character from yesteryear’s popular animated series, The Powerpuff Girls.

While most artists embrace the idea of fame and recognition, why does Princess Pea prefer to remain anonymous? “As an artist, I was always interested in the performance aspect of art. I wanted to create another name. Being anonymous gives me immense space and pleasure,” she says. Explaining the choice of name for her alter ego, which she created in 2009, the 30-something artist says, “The name basically comes from me and my sister. Being physically opposite, we were always poked and questioned (as children). We nicknamed her ‘pumpkin’ and I was the tiny ‘pea’. Also, I wanted the first alphabet of the name to be the same as our surname’s, which is ‘P’.”

Sift through her blog (www.thepeafamily.wordpress.com) and you will notice that almost all her paintings and artworks have one thing in common: they all feature Princess Pea in some form or the other. A look at her ‘Vague’ series of magazine covers—essentially a collection of digitally-edited front covers that provide a tongue-in-cheek critique of the fashion industry—on the blog shows that as well.

Having been to many art exhibitions such as the India Art Fair, where she first appeared in 2009 (she was there this year as well; holding a workshop at Le Meridien), Princess Pea hopes to encourage and inspire others—especially children who have “an unmatched sense of imagination”—to conjure up their respective alter egos as well.

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